THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE
Concerned scientists the world over have developed what is known as the Precautionary Principle. The Precautionary Principle states that, in the face of scientific uncertainty, humyns must take precautionary action. Shift the burden of proof onto the perpetrator. With any proposed course of action (or inaction) that may engender any possible harm to Life, 3 questions must be critically and thoroughly addressed:
-Is this harm preventable?
-Are there any alternatives?
-Do we know enough to act?
If these crucial questions cannot be definitively answered-then we should NOT move forward with the proposed action!
The mission of this working group is to join in all efforts everywhere to preserve, protect, and restore ecosystems and integrated complexes of ecosystems everywhere on Earth in an attempt to stabilize climate and mitigate the effects of climate change that are thus far unavoidable. Too little discussion has been forthcoming regarding the critical role that healthy, fully-functioning natural ecosystems play in influencing, stabilizing, and interacting with local, regional, continental-and ultimately global-climate regimes. Industrial/commercial roadbuilding, clearcutting, mining, drilling, livestock grazing, overharvesting, acid rain, paving, pollution, ozone depletion, urban sprawling-and the subsequent species extinctions-impact climate and weather on all spatial and temporal levels at least as much (if not more so than) “greenhouse gas” emissions. Many of the world’s women and Indigenous Peoples have recognized this fact for many decades (if not centuries)-and more recently so have many farmers, scientists, workers, and activists.
All ecosystems everywhere-however heavily and negatively impacted thus far by human activities-must be protected and preserved at any and all cost through an unfailing no-compromise stance. In addition, concentrated efforts focusing on ecosystem rehabilitation and restoration-on local, regional, continental, and global scales-must also ensue posthaste, to recover and re-wild to as great a degree as possible all impacted ecosystems and ecosystem complexes the world over. Such efforts are equally crucial in human response efforts as “greenhouse gas” reductions and “alternative technology.” There is no legitimate argument against this-certainly not any based on the capitalist myths of “economic and political viability;” in order to destroy this innately selfish soapbox, one only need investigate for oneself the per centage of the U.S. federal budget allocated annually to subsidize the extractive, “development,” and military industrial complexes. The argument that climate change may ultimately “destroy” an ecosystem regardless of human efforts to protect and restore it-allowing investors and industrialists an avenue for justifying their financially-motivated exploitation of such ecosystems-is also innately foolish: global warming may change, even drastically alter, an ecosystem-but it will not destroy it the way human industrial and commercial exploitation invariably does. NO ECOSYSTEM OR SPECIES IS EXPENDABLE! It is imperative to the very survival of human and most other species that we immediately shift these tax subsidies from privatization, wars of conquest, and extraction on public lands (the commons) to restoration on BOTH public & private lands (providing-among other things-mass employment). Now one must wonder why so little is thus far being said about this facet of the global warming issue…
RTNA’s plan of action regarding ecosystem and biodiversity protection, preservation, and restoration is multifaceted. Just as we ally ourselves with campaigns and struggles against the fossil-fuel industry, we also ally ourselves with campaigns and struggles against industrial “forestry”, mining and drilling, agribusiness, road-building, paving/sprawl, motorized “recreation,” factory-trawl fishing, “sport” hunting-and any commercial/ industrial “development” that seeks to profit from ecosystem destruction. These entities are just as guilty as the fossil-fuel interests (who also destroy ecosystems) in causing global warming-& they must be stopped! In addition, RTNA seeks to join or initiate any efforts at meaningful eco-restoration efforts-particularly those based on re-wilding in non-urban areas and greening in urban areas. RTNA seeks to build grassroots efforts aimed at forcing shifts in taxpayer subsidies away from capitalist “development” projects on public lands and toward local and regionally-based eco-restoration and re-wilding projects on public lands that are based on direct public oversight and decision-making as well as upon providing habitat to all native species that they may recover their populations and live as they have for millennia. RTNA works to debunk all “false solutions” to global warming that politicos and business interests try to sell us-and one of these is the myth that we must sacrifice any ecosystem to industrial/commercial interests in order to combat global warming (e.g., “salvage logging for restorative purposes,” dams, genetically-modified tree farms). All land-use decisions must be made based on ecosystem and bio-regional health, integrity, and stability; there is not (nor has their ever been) any place for commodifying land and resources and imposing fictitious political boundaries called “borders” that only divide and devastate living populations-nonhuman and human alike. Ecosystem health, vitality, and integrity is as much a social-justice issue as it is an ecological issue. Decades of exploitative land-use policies brought about the utter destruction of coastal swamp, wetland, and forest ecosystems; when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck, the natural barriers those ecosystems would have provided to dampen the intensity of the storms were largely nonexistent…and we saw what happened-and to whom.
This website will feature articles and essays discussing ecosystem science, ecosystems as they relate to climate stability and weather patterns (technical and non-technical), and actions under- taken to preserve, protect, defend, and/or restore the Earth’s ecosystems.
To get involved w/ RTNA’s Ecosystem Working Group-contact:
Earth First! We’ll defend the other planets later.
Links to other orgs working for wilderness, ecosystems, and biodiversity:
Earth First! Journal
Alliance for the Wild Rockies
Center for Biological Diversity
Sky Island Alliance
Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project
United Mountain Defense
Global Justice Ecology Project
1 – “The structural relations within and between human societies and
their environments form the most complex systems known to science.”
Charles D. Laughlin and Ivan Brady, editors, Extinction and Survival
in Human Populations.